Psalm 119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
God expects His children to be strong in the faith. He gives us some examples of saints who were different in that they trusted in God more than the majority in their generation. Noah is described as a person who was perfect in his generations. Joseph was a young man who had a different attitude than his brothers had. They hated him for his testimony. Daniel and his three friends also were different. Peter and John and the apostle Paul were different than many others of their generation.
All of these people knew the Lord as their personal God. The Old Testament saints mentioned, trusted in God’s promise of the Messiah, as Saviour and Lord. The New Testament saints mentioned, believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Messiah, as their Saviour and Lord and were filled with the Holy Spirit and equipped to stand strong in their generation.
The key for all of them was they walked by faith in the true God. In our text we see that the Psalmist was directed to write about his attitude toward God’s Word. He loved God’s law. Psalm 119 uses several different words to describe the Word of God. In our text it is described as “law” in verse 97. God’s Word is law. It is absolute and cannot be changed. We have mentioned before that there are many perversions that have attempted to change God’s Word. There are many people who have accepted the changes that the perversions make, however, the reality is that God is not subject to the whims of man. God warns those who would dare to change His Word. That is not the way to draw nigh to God. It is not the evidence of a true child of God. The Spirit of God dwells within the child of God and the Spirit of God will not yield to corruption. Thus the saint that assumes that the perversions are acceptable, will not be at peace with God.
The Psalmist loved God’s law. He loved it enough to meditate in it all the day. He did not find anything better to occupy his mind and heart with, throughout the entire day. When a saved person makes God’s Word their absolute source of truth and demonstrates that by meditating in it all day long, they will be transformed into the nature that God designed a saint to have.
In verse 98 the Psalmist is directed to call God’s law His “commandments”. Commandments are things that a person must do. While they are commandments, we see that the Psalmist does not approach God’s Word as something to be dreaded or something that is robbing him of better opportunities. God’s commandments are a blessing to the true child of God. Through humbly submitting to God’s commandments, the saint is wiser than his enemies. This was certainly true for king David.
The true child of God will always have enemies. The devil hates God and he is busy trying to interfere with God’s will. We know that God is greater than the devil. He created the angel that fell and became the devil. The true saint can always find help and wisdom from God. It is when we neglect His rightful place in our hearts and lives that we have trouble. God is always God. He cannot be changed. Those who are truly saved will sin at times but that does not make God less than the all-wise and Almighty God. The true child of God can and will find encouragement in walking with the true God. The enemies of God do not need to interfere with the blessings that God wants to bestow on His true child.
In verse 99 we are told that God’s word will give the true saint more understanding than all his teachers. This is a reference to those who are “professional” instructors but who lack that humility to walk humbly with the Lord. David was not wiser than the prophet Nathan. However, he was wiser than some of his counsellors. He chose to seek God’s way and His wisdom and that guided him along his way.
God is not discounting teachers here. He is reminding us that our teachers need to be men who love His law and meditate in It all the day long. It is a sad reality that many seminaries turn out corrupt students. The focus of most seminaries is on academics and not on spiritual depth. It is more important to know the Lord than to have a “doctorate”. A true local church should be able to equip those whom God sends Its way in all things needed. God’s Word is the key, not some teacher with degrees. The wise teacher will help the student to know how to rightly divide the Word of truth.